I read so much misleading rubbish about Santiago Airport in Chile (SCL for short) that I thought I’d better write up a quick blog post about what it was really like.
First off, from arriving quite a bit away from the processing area, it was still less than a five minute walk to the Immigration area. Signs were clearly marked in Spanish and English (also some in Portuguese).
Note that there IS an Entry Reciprocity Fee for American and Mexican visitors, which I believe is in place as the US and Mexico charges Chilean nationals a fee to entry their countries.
There was a HUGE duty free in arrivals, where you could pick up some last minute alcohol, perfume or massively overpriced peanut M&Ms.
As this was a pretty late arrival, there were only a few people at Immigration and my flight got processed within 5-10 minutes. Staff were friendly.
After baggage claim (which I wasn’t using), came Customs. Again, everyone was very friendly and I was through with a minimum of fuss.
There are very clear signs BEFORE leaving the customs area and exiting into the Arrivals space about public transport.
I did listen to one piece of advice. The arrivals area is a bit like bedlam, there were scores of taxi drivers and others inviting me to ride into town with them. I had organised a private car with my hotel (the Crowne Plaza) and my driver was waiting with a sign.
He did not take either of my bags and had clearly parked a long way away from the main car park to save money (this was NOT a cheap car service). That could have been made a bit easier as the car park was about a dollar an hour. First world problems, I guess!